Romania to start gas export to Hungary in December


Romania will start exporting small amounts of natural gas to Hungary, through the Arad-Szeged gas pipeline, in December this year, and in order to reach the maximum transmission capacity through this pipeline, investments of EUR 120mln are required, Mediafax reports. Romania and Hungary have agreed to make all the necessary investments for the import and export of natural gas through the Arad-Szeged pipeline by 2016, according to Transgaz’s administration plan, prepared by the Board of Directors of the state-owned company. The Arad-Szeged pipeline has been designed to carry, at maximum capacity, an annual amount of 4.4bcm of gas, the equivalent of around one third of Romania’s annual consumption. “Given the regional importance of the project, as well as the high value of the investment, the project has been proposed on the list of EU’s projects of common interest, list which will be adopted by the end of this year”, according to the quoted document. The administration plan specifies that the completion of this project provides the premises of opening an “essential” gas transmission corridor from the Black Sea region to the Central and East European markets. Also, by 2016 Romania plans to complete another gas pipeline, to Bulgaria, on Giurgiu-Ruse route. The investment in this pipeline amounts to EUR 23.8mln, of which EUR 11mln is Transgaz’s share. “In a first stage, according to the EC’s financing decision, the project will provide a minimum emergency gas flow. (…) Given that providing the bidirectional flow is a requirement of the EU’s Regulation, Transgaz is carrying talks with its Bulgarian partners to expand the technical capacities of this project to a bidirectional flow by late 2016”, the administration plan reads. The initial deadline for completing the interconnection with Bulgaria, i.e. June 2013, has been exceeded and the parties requested the European Commission an extension of the term for completion until December 31st this year. Romania also plans to connect the national natural gas transmission system with Moldova and Serbia. Transgaz is controlled by the Ministry of Public Finance.